It’s a sign of progress. Friday, the Tower at 1301 Gervais — a landmark in the Columbia skyline — becomes IT-oLogy @ Innovista.
The installation of the IT-oLogy @ Innovista signage exemplifies the already successful partnership between IT-oLogy and Innovista to foster the development, growth and relocation of information technology (IT) companies, small and large.
“This marks the fruition of one of our original visions: a district with the strategic clustering of IT companies in one locality,” said Don Herriott, Director of Innovista Partnerships. “More companies are seeing the advantages of co-location, and IT-oLogy @ Innovista now houses 9 IT companies and counting.”
IT-oLogy’s mission is to promote, teach and grow the IT talent pipeline and profession. With Innovista’s mission of creating, attracting and growing knowledge-based companies in the Midlands of South Carolina, the two constitute a perfect partnership for recruiting to the new IT-oLogy @ Innovista building. Clustering IT companies in a single location, such as the Tower at 1301 Gervais Street, can open the door for new opportunities for partnership and business development, stimulate new ideas and industry innovation and help in the recruitment of new companies to the region.
“Our goal is to bring the IT community together in a collaborative environment to develop the IT pipeline through programs at all levels,” said Lonnie Emard, Executive Director of IT-oLogy. “The partnership with Innovista is a perfect example of this collaborative effort because we are bringing together people and companies that are dedicated to both of our missions.”
The establishment of an IT district is not about a sign at the top of the Tower at 1301 Gervais Street. While that is a visible representation of the partnership, the real story is about what happens both in and out of the building. The uniqueness of IT-oLogy is that it is not a single company or entity; instead, it is a non-profit collaboration of companies, academic institutions and organizations uniting to address the nationwide shortage of skilled IT professionals. To address this challenge, IT-oLogy offers K-12 programs where students explore numerous IT career options, the internships for undergraduate students and the continuing education opportunities that keep professionals constantly learning and up-to-date. When all this happens, the result is a vibrant economic picture, which is the goal of Innovista.
The confluence of opportunities in IT-oLogy @ Innovista will provide a home in the community for local talent as well. “At the University of South Carolina, our responsibility to students and alumni extends beyond education. It includes a commitment to helping them find jobs, good jobs, when they graduate,” said Dr. Harris Pastides, President of the University of South Carolina. “The pairing of IT-oLogy and Innovista is perfect because of their complementary missions, each focused on growing our innovation economy in this region and across South Carolina.”
“From the outset, the vision of IT-oLogy has been to have business and academic partners collaborate to advance IT talent,” Emard said. “The lack of IT talent is a national epidemic that is solved in a local manner. The establishment of IT-oLogy @ Innovista is a visible representation of bringing companies together to collaborate and partner, fostering new ideas and technologies.”
Recently, IT-oLogy announced the establishment of the branch IT-oLogy @ University Center of Greenville, located in Greenville, South Carolina. This is yet another way IT-oLogy is working locally to address a national issue. In the future, IT-oLogy will continue to open branches across the nation as a way to advance IT talent in a grassroots manner.
Innovista is a strategic economic development effort that is connecting the University of South Carolina and university-spawned innovations with entrepreneurs, businesses and stakeholders. Its purpose is to help attract and create technology-intensive, knowledge-based companies, which result in higher-paying jobs and raise the standard of living in South Carolina.
IT-oLogy is a non-profit collaboration of businesses, academic institutions and other organizations dedicated to growing the IT talent pipeline and advancing the IT profession. IT-oLogy does this through three major initiatives: Promote IT (K-12 schools), Teach IT (Higher Education) and Grow IT (Professionals and Businesses).